Friday, September 24, 2010

"Just Like Your Mama Made"

     One thing that I find difficult about sharing family recipes, is that they don't exist. While my dad is here, I'm trying to cook things for him that he might not fix for himself. He is cooking and of course he has access to every restaurant you can imagine, but there is something nice about old family comfort foods. One of my mom's go to recipes was Chicken Tetrazzini. Of course I don't have her "recipe" written down anywhere. This is one of those foods that we both tend to make using what we have on hand at the time. Yesterday as I prepared dinner, I took notes as I went along so that I could share it here. One thing to remember about this recipe is you can tweek it based on what you have on hand. Use turkey if you don't have chicken, use more or less veggies, you could change the pasta shape if get the idea.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 1 or 2 casserole dishes.

1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (or any color)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (canned would be fine)
2 T. butter
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken broth
1 lb. thin spaghetti
3 cups cooked chicken (in bite size pieces)
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

This recipe will make one large 9 x 13 pan with a little left over or 2 smaller casseroles. It freezes beautifully.

     For my chicken I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I boiled mine, cooled and cut them into pieces. You could use any cooked chicken, even the meat from a roasted chicken from the store. When  the chicken is almost done, you can prepare the sauce.

Melt the butter in a skillet. Sauté celery,
peppers and mushrooms until wilted.

Stir in 2 cans cream of mushroom soup and set aside.

     In large pan cook the spaghetti according to directions. Add the can of chicken broth to the water in which you are cooking the pasta. When the pasta is done, it is time to assemble the casserole.

Fold the 3 cups of chicken into the
veggies and mushroom soup mixture.

Stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir gently.

     Add the cooked spaghetti along with some of the pasta broth/water. I used all but 2 cups of the cooked pound of pasta and enough of the broth to create a slightly soupy mix. You don't want it to be too dry before baking as the pasta will swell as it bakes. Mine looked like the above picture, before baking.

     I decided to bake mine in 2 pans last night. The smaller pan went into the freezer for next month. Spoon mixture into prepared pan(s) and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so, until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbling around the edges.

Serve with a salad and hot bread...enjoy!

     My dad's comment last night after dinner was that it was "just like your mama made"! I really couldn't ask for a better compliment than that! I am joinging Michael @ Designs by Gollum today for Foodie Friday. It is the best place in all of Blogland to find wonderful recipes!


Pondside said...

That must have been a lovely moment, when your father made the comment about your dinner. I'm still trying to get my mum to at least explain some of her dishes. The recipes she's written down don't always result in the dish tasting like mum's!

Mosaic Magpie said...

Just when I was wondering what to fix for supper. Wow this makes me hungry.

The Charm of Home said...

That is so good. And yours looks wonderful with the mushrooms and celery. I have given you a blog award. Please forgive me if you don't participate in these.
Here is the direct link:


xinex said...

Looks really goo, Sue. I;m gonna have to try it someday....Christine

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Oh, that looks and sounds so good. I need to copy your recipe - Thanks for sharing. The last time I made some, it was lacking something.
Have a great weekend.

LindyLouMac said...

Good old Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup, that used to be a larder staple when we lived in the UK

Unknown said...

Looks just like what comfort food is supposed to look like....COMFORTING!! Great recipe Sue :)


Sue said...

Oh Sue, how sweet that your dad thought it tasted like your mom's recipe.... I've never had tetrazzini before- it looks very simple and easy peasy to make. A good make ahead and freeze meal, too.
~ Sue

Gypsy Heart said...

A very special comment and a treasured memory. I am just starving right now! Thanks so much for sharing ~ have a wonderful weekend.


Lynn said...

No better compliment indeed, enjoy:@)

koralee said...

Now that looks like pure comfort food to me my friend.....thanks for sharing.

Hugs for a great weekend. xoxoxo

niartist said...

Yurrrrmy! This is perfect for today ... I am off to the grocery store! :) I have missed you at Color Outside the Lines ... I hope I haven't lost you forever! Stop by when you can ... let me know what you think of the new layout! :) xo, Artie

Relyn Lawson said...

Yum! This sounds great. And, did you tell me a while back that you had a perfect apple crisp recipe? If the answer is yes, I'd be giddy. And so grateful.

Maria said...

Hi Sue!
I saw LindyLou's comment... it's perfect for your post...
"Good old Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup."
Just what I was thinking as I read the recipe.
The miracles of that single can!
and now this fabulous recipe!
I think I have two cans in the pantry ;o)
~happy week to you~

J Rodney said...

What a wonderful compliment Sue, one I'm sure you'll never forget.

dee dee said...

i have had a friend make this for me before, and I have never made it myself. Guess what will be on the menu this week!
Dee Dee
ps. enjoy your visit with your dad!

Monica H said...

That is a fantastic compliment. And now you have your own recipe to share. thank you.